Conviction Reversed Due to Police Officer's Testimony Lack of Adequate Level of Expertise

In People v. Jacquith, 129 Ill. App. 3d 107, 113, 84 Ill. Dec. 357, 472 N.E.2d 107 (1984), the officers were not so qualified, and, as a result, the reviewing court reversed the accused's conviction of driving under the influence of both alcohol and drugs. There, neither officer involved testified that he had previous experience with narcotics users or that he had made arrests for driving under the influence of drugs. One officer testified only vaguely that he had training at the police academy in the areas of alcohol and drugs. The officer testified that the defendant smelled of alcohol, had slurred speech, was unable to balance himself, and was unable to touch his right finger to his nose. The defendant testified that he denied consuming drugs or alcohol, he was not offered a test at the police station, and he did not admit that he was under the influence of anything. In reversing the conviction, the reviewing court concluded that the officers' testimony, which was the only testimony offered by the State on the drug issue, did not display the level of expertise necessary to sustain the conviction of driving under the influence of drugs.